Grounded Information for Responsive Designing: An Example of the Physical Environment of Work

Awoniyi Stephen


Designers have consistently employed user surveys to construct a program of what users find desirable in their built environments. In a small investigation about the work environment, it was initially speculated that utilitarian ends would dominate over aesthetic ones in a list of desirable qualities of the work environment generated by respondents. 113 participants responded to a request to list up to five things they liked about the physical environment of their work place. In grouping responses, a new category of information became imminent: non- work-utilitarian ends. In a z-test of proportion, initial hypothesis about dominance of utilitarian ends was not supported. Of greater interest, however, was the relative prominence of the non-work-utilitarian category. A binomial test found that the number of responses indicating that category was not due to random occurrence (p < .001). The discovered lesson is that building designers may wish to re-evaluate this phenomenon that is meaningful to users in conceptualizing the physical environment of work.

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